Wednesday, February 27, 2008

мороженое для каждого

One of my Russian classmates was talking about a hammer and sickle t-shirt bearing the legend "мороженое для каждого!" ("Ice cream for everyone!") on something he called "Cafe Express." Having searched this out and determined that he probably mean Cafe Press, I'm still coming up empty handed on the t-shirt. And I kind of gotta haves it. Anyone seen it? I suppose the good thing about Cafe Press is that if it doesn't exist, I can create it.

Also, if there's anything more insidious than the way that DaVinci Code references have permeated popular discourse, I don't know what it is. Twice in the past few days I've heard someone use the phrase "sub rosa" when all they really mean is obscure or hidden (or, amusingly, password protected). Interestingly, we were just having a discussion about a similar phenomenon in my Dostoevsky class today. In "The Grand Inquisitor," the eponymous character deliberately confuses the words "tайна" (meaning mystery, as in 'mystery of faith,') and the more provincial "секрет," as in something that children keep from each other. The Grand Inquisitor reduces the mysteries of Christianity (perfect faith) for the dirty little secret that the Church keeps (i.e., that it's really in thrall to the devil). This confusion underpins most of the third part of his argument.

I think what I love most about Russian is the way that it has about five different words to every single English general purpose usage.

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Posted by Shannon Chamberlain @ 11:37 AM